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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Softball takes back weekend

    UA pitcher Taryne Mowatt hurls a pitch toward the plate during the Wildcats April 27 13-1 win over Oregon State at Hillenbrand Stadium. Mowatt won a pair of 3-0 games against No. 25 Washington over the weekend, including a no-hitter in yesterdays contest.
    UA pitcher Taryne Mowatt hurls a pitch toward the plate during the Wildcats’ April 27 13-1 win over Oregon State at Hillenbrand Stadium. Mowatt won a pair of 3-0 games against No. 25 Washington over the weekend, including a no-hitter in yesterday’s contest.

    So much for Taryne Mowatt’s slump.

    There isn’t any doubt that expectations were exceptionally high for Mowatt entering this season – perhaps even to an unfair level – and the ace had struggles with them during the season. When Mowatt laced up her cleats for work this weekend, she was nothing short of stunning.

    After the No. 8 Wildcats (33-16, 10-8 Pacific 10 Conference) dropped the first game of the weekend 2-1 at No. 4 UCLA (43-6, 15-3) in walk-off fashion, Mowatt posted two shutouts against No. 25 Washington (26-21-1, 5-12), including a no-hitter in yesterday’s weekend finale, to lead Arizona to two consecutive 3-0 wins over the Huskies to close out the last conference road series.

    “”She pitched extremely well,”” said interim head coach Larry Ray of Mowatt’s performance in which she allowed just two hits to Washington in two games. “”It is extremely tough and it is just a tribute to her. She had most of her pitches working and her off-speed toward the latter part of the game was on, and it was just good.

    “”Washington swung the bats really well … You would think after seeing her for 14 innings they would make some adjustments and kind of get used to seeing her, but her curve ball was moving really well and she had good velocity and did all the things necessary for us to be successful.””

    Mowatt (21-12) admitted she is finally feeling like her old self after not being completely sure of herself in previous starts. The ace said she found her ability to throw strikes with strong command after not always feeling she was able to hit her spots.

    The Wildcats have been holding their breath that Mowatt would find her stroke again, and after throwing her third consecutive dominant game just weeks before the postseason, it seems to be looking that way.

    Mowatt said she has completely forgotten about her previous slump and is concentrating on “”moving forward.””

    The no-hitter was impressive because the Huskies already saw Mowatt the day before, a game in which they had only two hits. Mowatt continued to keep Washington off-balance in the second game en route to her first no-hitter of the season and sixth of her career. Mowatt tallied 15 strikeouts on Saturday and 11 yesterday.

    “”It felt good to be out there with all of my pitches working and being able to get back into a rhythm again,”” Mowatt said. “”I am hoping (my success) is going to keep going into next weekend and is a sign of peaking at the end of the season because that would be fantastic.

    “”Getting a no-hitter against any team is tough because you need to mix things up and there are a lot of things that could happen,”” she added. “”It is good to know going into the postseason that everything that happened in the past and all the bad games, you don’t have to worry about it. It’s a fresh start.””

    Perhaps one of the most difficult things for the Wildcats this weekend was bouncing back at Washington after the walk-off loss to the Bruins.

    Arizona had to bolt to LAX in order to catch a flight to Seattle for the remaining games against Washington. Players said it was a difficult transition to forget about the stinging loss to the Bruins in the midst of traveling and prepare for the games against the Huskies.

    “”It is always tough, especially after losing by a walk-off homerun against UCLA,”” said Laine Roth, who went 3-for-3 in yesterday’s win. “”I hate this trip. It is probably the worst trip we ever have to do and it always just sucks to lose and go and play, but I think we did a good job to come back, clear our minds, and win big on Saturday and (yesterday).””

    Nevertheless, Ray was pleased with his team’s effort this weekend.

    “”This looked like the Arizona softball team that we are accustomed to,”” Ray said.

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